Wounded, By Percival Everett
Sunday 31 August 2008
The 13th novel by the versatile and undervalued American writer Percival Everett is narrated by John Hunt, a black, middle-aged horse trainer who lives with his animals and his ex-con uncle on a ranch in the Wyoming desert, and whose measured, engaging voice is the principal among several pleasures that the book offers. Another is the tender love story that develops between him and his nearest neighbour, Morgan. The laconic dialogue is great too: "I find I can't get things done unless I do them," or "He's tenser than a Republican with a thought of his own."
There's a murder at the beginning of the novel, and it certainly grips like a thriller. But it isn't giving away too much to say that the most likely suspects did it, and that Wounded isn't concerned with plot mechanics but with rich human drama. It's about a man who'd shunned the company of people being forced to involve himself in the affairs of others, and discovering that he has so much more to give than he'd realised, and more to lose too.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant